JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio learned a lot from his nine seasons in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars and Del Rio parted ways midway through the 2011 season. He compiled a 68-71 before being shown the door.
Nine years at any job should lead to professional growth and Del Rio admits his time with the Jaguars franchise helped him form his current approach in Oakland.
"A lot of experiences, mostly good ones, but even the bad ones, you learn from your experiences and I think certainly the second time around is a whole different perspective," Del Rio said during a conference call on Wednesday.
"Your first time being in that chair and understanding the volume of work and the number of decisions need to be made. Regardless of your preparation, there’s an adjustment. I think having that experience under my belt now certainly makes me, I think, a better head coach.”
Del Rio only produced three winning seasons and two playoff appearances during his Jaguars tenure. The talent level wavered throughout his time in Jacksonville, with his last few years featuring limited assets outside of Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis.
"Well I think it verifies the fact that we thought we were really coaching, doing a wonderful job of coaching up guys we had and making them believe that we had a shot and were competitive," Del Rio said.
"That’s what coaching is. That’s what you do. You make the most out of the group you have and you rally them around and you create belief and you organize and discipline and you understand what you’re doing. Those are the things that you do to become a good football team. I think, for me, like I said, you learn from the experiences."
Now with the Raiders, Del Rio looks back at his time in Jacksonville with fond memories.
"There were some definitely tremendous moments," Del Rio said.
"I think the probably the best might be the Pittsburgh game; I think we shut them out 9-0. That was exciting. They were coming off a Super Bowl if I’m not mistaken and that was a special night. The crowd was unbelievable and we played really, really well against a really good football team. There are many others. We had a lot of good moments there."
The Jaguars will host the team's former head coach on Sunday. He doesn't have an idea of how the fans will respond to his return.
“I’m not sure," Del Rio said.
"I know that we’re coming in as the opponent so you typically expect to get treated like all opponents do. We’re excited to go play a good team and play a good game of football.”
Follow Mike Kaye on Twittter at @Mike_E_Kaye.